Friday, May 21, 2010

Doctor Appointment

Had my doctor appt today. They took new xrays and are very pleased with my progress. They removed the stitches-yeah! I will be able to start taking showers! That's a big deal to me :) I'll also start working on bending my knee. It'll be several weeks before I can do any weight bearing on that leg so guess I'll have to be satisfied with bending it. No weight bearing on the shoulder yet either...probably another 4 weeks of just assisted passive therapy. Sheesh! I finally got to see an xray of the leg post op.

leg052110

Here is the Bionic Woman :)  There are 2 plates and 20 screws in there. I was surprised at all the stuff. It looks like a ladder to me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rough Day

I had a bit of a setback today. I had OT early-from 7:15 to 8:15 AM and it included bathing and dressing so my therapist, Betty could assess how I do in those areas. I did well and once we were finished, it was just a short wait for breakfast. After breakfast, my PT, Tom, came to take me to PT. We started with leg circles on the left and weight pressure exercises on the right. All was well until the pain meds I had taken at 5 AM wore off and fast. My leg just throbbed and I couldn't continue. They had the nurse bring me more and I rested on one of the exercise boards for about a half an hour.  That was not enough time and they took me back to my room where I rested and waited and waited and finally, after 2 hours and 10 minutes, the meds took affect. I guess I need to be taking them on a more regular basis and not let them completely wear off. The pain is much worse the last couple days and I have to attribute that to the PT and working of all these muscle and tendon groups that haven't done much of anything for the last month.

The remainder of the day was spent resting. I'll try PT again tomorrow but will make sure I have fresh pain meds in me first.

Kathy H stopped by after work for another nice visit. She brought her dinner with her and we ate, talked and watched the geese outside my bedroom window :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Early Start

I was up with the chickens today :) Comparably speaking that is. It was about 6:45 AM. Now that I have therapy everyday, I need to get cleaned up and dressed before that happens. Yesterday, they wanted me before I was dressed, so I knew I'd have to move up my daily "get-myself-together". I was finished by 7:30 AM including a shampoo and blow dry. Considering it takes me a looong time to accomplish all these duties, I feel good about completing it in 45 minutes :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

One Month Anniversary

Today is my one month anniversary of my accident. It's amazing how quickly that time went by.

It rained all night and continues all day. It's very dark and dreary out there but we do need the rain.

I started PT/OT today and it wiped me out :)
They worked on my arm/shoulder and my foot/ankle/overall leg strength. We have to work the leg without working the injury which sounds funny but there are definitely things to do to build up the muscles all around the injury for support when I'm able to start weight bearing exercises. I'm so happy to be starting something! Now the time will go faster too.

Anyhow, I came back to my room after the morning session and had lunch. Then went back for the afternoon session. When I got back from that one, I napped for a couple hours :) It's good sleeping weather anyhow.

Rick came by in the evening to see me and later, I kept falling asleep while watching TV so decided to turn in for the night. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No therapy for me today!

Contrary to what I was told, I did not have PT/OT today. There did not seem to be a therapist in the house at all, so I did the exercises I had been taught to do on my own. Rick came to visit in the afternoon after a nice trikke ride in the morning with Big Mike, Bev and Howard on the Raleigh Greenway. Later in the afternoon, he went shopping for me at Target. I was looking for a Ped Egg to get rid of some of my dry skin and a package of Smooth Away to remove hair from my "good" leg. He was not successful in finding either one. Guess I'll have to try eBay :)

Although this is a nice place, it has already become boring in many ways and I feel all I do is eat and sleep. I hope once therapy begins, that feeling will go away. I'm not much of a "sitter" and like to be doing something.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blogger is Blocked!

As I was preparing to post yesterday’s blog, I found out that the Brian Center’s free Wifi has a firewall that is automatically blocking Google’s Blogger. Not only could I not post but I couldn’t read anyone else’s blog where the publisher used Blogger. Bummer! I found a work around for the reading part by using Google Reader. It gives me the text only version of the blogs. No pictures will download but that’s ok. So, for now, I’ll continue writing posts as I can and when I have something to say and will save them until I am visiting the apartment or elsewhere where I can download them to the blog. There is no telling how frequently this will occur, so there may be times when there’s a lot (if I was motivated)  :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My leg can breathe! Yeah!

When the doctors made their rounds this morning, they decided to remove my bandages and check the incisions on my leg. What a wonderful feeling :) Everything looks good. There are a lot of stitches and many incisions, but the healing seems to be progressing well. I was able to scratch (lightly) and rub and add a little lotion in protected areas. It was wonderful. They are going to cover it with a ted hose (support hose) instead of the bandages. I told them to take their time coming in to do that :) It just feels so good to let it breathe! The brace will also go back on over the hose but it should greatly reduce the bulk. There is still some swelling but that seems to be going down also. Here is what the leg currently looks like. The photos were taken from my phone, so quality isn’t the greatest, but you get the idea.

051310075748 051310075722 051310075730 051310075740 I hope these pictures don’t freak anyone out. They look much worse than they really are.

At 3:00 PM today, the ambulance showed up to transport me to the Brian Center. I was all transported and in bed there by 4:00 PM. This is a very nice large private room with a shared bath but the person next door is bedridden and doesn’t use the bathroom so guess it’s all mine. Unfortunately, I currently don’t use it too well either :) But that will get better.

I filled out all the necessary forms, had a skin assessment, a dinner tray (not the best food on the block-hope that improves) and settled in for the evening. This is the first day of my rehab. Let’s hope they all go this well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And we wait...

I had my best night yet last night. I slept from 11 to 3:00 AM and then again from 3 to 6:30 AM. That was when the workers across the hall arrived and woke me up. :) I didn't mind because I was convinced I'd be hearing about my move this morning and I wanted to be ready.

Well, I waited all day and nothing happened. I am now cautiously optimistic about tomorrow. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strange Goings-On in the middle of the night

Full x-rays at 2:30 AM! Boy what a way to wake up. I turned the light off at 11:00 but could not sleep. It was too close to needing my next pain pill dose. I received that at midnight and finally fell asleep about 12:30 AM. At 2:30, the lights came on in my room, the nurse came in and said I had to go down for new x-rays. I was gone an hour, my body moved into positions I did not know it could and by 3:30, I was back, had used the bedside commode, gotten more pain meds and was expected to just go back to sleep. Unfortunately my body was not cooperating. I finally turned the TV on and watched the news coverage of the Oklahoma tornadoes that hit yesterday. Between that and the Gulf oil spill mess, the news is depressing. That worked to put me to sleep, however. I fell deeply asleep again only to be awakened at 4:30 AM by the lab for new blood draws. I need to leave so I can get some rest :)

Later in the morning my dreams came true. The hospital has a little gentleman that comes in 2-3 days a week to do haircuts, shampoos, blow dries etc. I put myself first on his list when he arrived and I am now sporting a nice, short, very manageable fresh new cut. He was a talkative little guy but gave a good cut for a good price. It was mentally refreshing :)

The Brian Center has offered me a bed for rehab. I can't believe how lucky that is as it's located less than a mile from our apartment. Rick can actually walk to see me :) We are now waiting on BC/BS to approve it and negotiate payment with them. Then I'll be moved. It's very exciting! This will be the beginning of the next stage of my life.

Whatever was wrong at Duke yesterday self-corrected today and once again, the staff was wonderful. It's no good trying to analyze what the problem could have been. It's beyond my control anyway. There are many factors that need to come together to make an operation this large work. Yesterday, that didn't happen.

I'm cautiously optimistic I'll get to go to the Brian Center tomorrow. Hopefully all the pieces will fall into place.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Catching Up (May 4- May 10)

On Tues, May 4, I had an appt with Dr Zura at Duke at 11:00 AM. He was not aware I was coming, (one of those special surprises for both of us) but did find my injury remarkable. He scheduled me for surgery the next day, Wed, and sent us to preop for the workup. What an afternoon that was! Wait, wait and wait. We finally got home about 6:00 PM. I had a bowl of oatmeal for supper. It was the only thing that sounded good to me. Guess it was that comfort food idea. No food or drink was allowed after midnight so whatever I chose had to last me.

On Wed, we arrived at Duke at 6:30 AM and things progressed nicely until about 8:30 AM when the head surgery nurse announced all surgeries were postponned due to a stronge chemical smell coming from the OR area. Oh no! I was hoping this wouldn't go on all day. Environmental and Chemical Engineering were on the case. The cause of the odor was discovered and corrected before 9:00 AM so not much of a delay. I was in the OR approximately 3 hours but in recovery for many more hours after that. It was probably 8-ish before I went to the floor.

The day after surgery is mostly a blur. :) I know the docs removed my bandages and checked the incision sites. A new bandage was placed and a locking brace was put over all. The leg is less dangerous than it was with the external fixator but it's still plenty bulky. Rick worked the morning and then spent the afternoon with me.

Rick worked the full day Friday which was nice for him and the first time in 2 weeks. My post op x-rays looked real good. Next step is to find a rehab facility that has an opening where I can spend a few weeks and get myself back together again. Nothing happens on the weekends so guess I'll just be boarding here until Monday when they can start the search.

Sat: Kathy H came for an afternoon visit. She was here most of the afternoon and we had a great time :) It was my first day in a recliner chair. Sure felt good! I stayed in it for 7 hours. Rick went shopping at Walmart for me. He wanted to find some baggy sweats for me to wear to rehab. He only found scrubs, so we'll give that a try.

Sun: Mothers day-Nic gave me a marvelous shampoo and brought me a Gerbera daisy, card and 4 leaf clover from J. She stayed for an hour or so. Rick stayed all afternoon leaving around dinner time. He returned the scrubs to Walmart. They fit fine but are way too tight over the leg brace. I think I'll just go with shorts. I had a rough night pain wise. Lots of throbbing pain and spasms. I'm hoping that it means I'm turning a corner. Sometimes it's worse before the calm.

Monday: Not sure what was happening at Duke today. No one was around. No one from housekeeping to clean the room. No aide to give me water and fresh towels and a clean gown. Nothing. The best I could do was get someone to help me with the bedside commode and bring me pain meds and that took forever. Very poor service today. I guess I've worn out my welcome.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A dry run to Duke

We didn't have much on the agenda today. The only important thing was to make a dry run to Duke to find the clinic for my Tuesday appointment. Rick took off for the ATT shortly after he woke up and got a nice 7 mile ride in before it became too unbearably hot and humid. He worked up quite a sweat and felt good when he got back. Too bad he had forgotten his water bottle! He was in need of some serious hydration. I doubt he'll forget it again.

After giving myself a sponge bath and brushing my teeth, we set out to find the clinic. It was easy enough to find providing it's really the address we need. Nothing was marked with the street #! We'll just leave early enough to detour to another area if necessary Tuesday morning.

As seems to be my MO, the mere fact that we left the apartment and got in the car and drove somewhere tired me out and I promptly took a nice nap when we got home :)

Nicole came by about 4:00 bringing more food :) We supped on fried chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. I could truly get used to having all meals taken care of for me :)
Nic stayed until it was time for her book club meeting in Raleigh. I helped her run lines for her current play and we just visited. I'm enjoying seeing her more often and I know my current condition is part of that. The other part just might be that we now live more in line with her travels and it's more convenient for her too.

I keep thinking about the house and how lucky we are not to be in it anymore. If we were, we'd both be going crazy trying to keep up with it. Granted, there would be more room, but all that extra work wouldn't make it worth it to me. If this was supposed to happen, it sure did happen conveniently.

I spent the evening watching a little TV and chatting with Sheila on the IM feature of Skype :) That feature is so nice. It's almost like we're in the same room :)

Tomorrow is the last day of waiting before going to see the surgeon. Yeah!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The weekend has arrived

Rick took off early today to go to Target when it first opened hoping to avoid the rush. We needed a few staples like eggs and bread etc. Nicole has been taking care of our main meals by soliciting food from her friends :) She has them cook, picks it up and brings it over, divides and freezes. All we have to do is reheat. I should say, all Rick has to do is reheat :) It has truly been a life saver. I am not fit for anything and Rick has more on his plate than he needs right now. The meal thing is great. Once we run out of those, we may order weekly meals from Foster's Market for awhile until things settle down and I can start contributing again.

I spent a lot of time out of bed this afternoon practicing wheel chair maneuvers and ways to get close to a sink :) I never realized how important that could be...especially with only one arm! But I came up with a couple things to make it easier. I even shaved my legs! Well, sort of. I tried really hard, anyhow :)

This evening we took a drive to Target. It's right down the road from our new apartment. I needed to shop for a pair of large men's elastic waist sports shorts with long legs :) It hard to find big baggy stuff like that in the ladies department and I needed something to wear to Duke on Tuesday. I've been living in t-shirts and boxer shorts but they're too short to wear out without a blanket on my lap and it's supposed to be in the 90's on Tuesday so no blanket for me :) The external fixator on my leg causes all kinds of problems with clothing and none of my regular clothes will fit over it. We found a pair of navy blue long, baggy sports shorts that should work just fine. I won't win any fashion awards but I forgot to enter my name in the competition anyhow :)

Target has a little cafe area where they sell hot dogs, sandwiches, personal pan sized pizzas etc. Before leaving, we had bite to eat so we didn't have to worry about it later.
Rick took his Trikke out for a spin when we got home. It was the first time since my accident and he looked like he really enjoyed it. The sun had gone down and the bugs were out so it wasn't a long ride but he did work up a sweat. That's so good for him! It's also a great de-stresser :)

I think I should sleep well tonight.